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After school Darrell and Tallah entered the modest establishment owned by Darrell's grandfather. Old-timers in waiting chairs lining the room resembled gargoyles on a cathedral. An octogenarian getting a buzz cut who had come in regularly like clockwork for about thirty years (because the haircuts took less than seven minutes, the geriatric character discovered he could slip between the barber shop and the dive bar across the street and still get home in time before his wife began to wonder), reminisced that this building originally was a fuel company. Potbelly stoves sat in the storefront windows. A large scale embedded in the parking lot for trucks to weigh loads of coal had been paved over with asphalt because it was easier than removing it.

Darrell asked, "Gramps, can I show Tallah some of the old stuff in back?"

Without looking up from his work the boy's kind-eyed grandpa sporting a fohawk, ear gauges, neckbeard, a short sleeve smock, and cargo shorts that exposed multiple tattoos answered, "Sure, but be careful." The twelve-year-olds passed the large mirrored back bar that was crowded with aftershave lotions and family pictures. They turned the corner by the thermostat permanently set at a frugal 64 degrees to a door leading to a storage warehouse in the back half of the building.

Penny gum machine on counter

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